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“Portrait of Dr Paul Alexandre” by Amedeo Modigliani

"Portrait of Dr Paul Alexandre" by Amedeo Modigliani - Joy of Museums - Yamazaki Mazak Museum of Art

This “Portrait of Dr Paul Alexandre” by Amedeo Modigliani is one of several paintings of Dr Alexandre created by Modigliani in a modern style characterised by elongation of faces and figures, that echo precursors such as Titian, Goya, and Velázquez. In this painting, the elongated face and highly simplified features derive Modigliani’s study of Egyptian, African and Oceanic sculpture.

Dr Paul Alexandre was one of Modigliani’s patrons and friends. From 1907 to 1914, the two saw each other regularly, and Alexandre bought many of his paintings and acquired many of his drawings. Many of these drawings, over four hundred, have only recently, in the early 1990s, been made public, by Alexandre’s descendants. Alexandre was three years older than Modigliani, and during World War I, he was sent to the front, and at the end of the war his demobilisation was delayed, and he did not see his artist-friend again before Modigliani died in 1920.

Amedeo Modigliani was an Italian painter and sculptor who worked mainly in France and is known for portraits and nudes. Modigliani moved to Paris in 1906, where he came into contact with prominent artists such as Pablo Picasso. From 1909 to 1914, he devoted himself mainly to sculpture in which the linear form of African sculpture and the figurative Renaissance painters informed his work.  His main subject was portraits and full figures of humans, both in the images and in sculptures. Later he painted the human figure almost exclusively and created many reclining female nudes. During his life, Amedeo Modigliani had little success and died aged 35 in Paris.

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“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” Leonardo da Vinci



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